Deals, Setbacks

J&J shrugs off deals with Aduro that were worth up to $1.2B. Setback forces shift to Novartis alliance now

Back in the spring of 2014, J&J inked the first of two licensing pacts for the year with Aduro, looking to benefit from the biotech’s approach to treating cancer. Altogether the pharma giant contributed a $30 million upfront, equity money as well as up to $1.2 billion in milestones.

And in one swift move they wiped the table clean last week and walked.

Posted inside an SEC filing, Aduro noted that J&J told them they were bowing out on September 25. ADU-214, ADU-741 and GVAX Prostate will soon revert back to Aduro, as J&J also abandons any rights to its attenuated Listeria tech for lung and prostate cancer.

J&J’s exit leaves the company in early-stage development, with a lead program for ADU-S100, a lead STING pathway activator. In one early study, their drug is combined with the PD-1 checkpoint from Novartis.

Novartis paid $200 million to get that relationship started, with another $500 million in goal money.

The past year has included a variety of setbacks for Aduro.

Natalie Sacks

Late last year the biotech noted that it was abandoning CRS-207 — which had been on partial hold earlier — after it failed to perform well in trials for mesothelioma, ovarian, and gastric cancer. And then just days ago their CMO, Natalie Sacks, resigned. Aduro offered no explanation for her departure at the time.


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